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Talk Now! Learn Malayalam - Beginning Level

Platform : Mac, Windows
2.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
  • Comprehensive interactive language learning; ideal for beginners
  • Easy and hard quizzes, plus a challenging memory game
  • Compare yourself with native speakers; monitor progress
  • Topics include phrases, food, shopping, telling time, and more
  • On-screen help available in over 75 languages; printable dictionary

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

Here at EuroTalk, we believe there is no such thing as someone who is bad at languages--only someone who hasn't yet discovered the right way to learn. Everybody should learn another language!

Talk Now! is designed for people who want to learn a language quickly. If you don't have time to become fluent, but need the basics in a hurry, Talk Now! is for you. Talk Now! uses games and quizzes as a basis for making the learning process fun and relaxing.

Features:

  • Talk Now! is ideal for beginners.
  • Comprehensive. Topics include: phrases, first words, food, shopping, countries, colors, telling time, numbers, and human body parts.
  • Interactive. Immediate response to every choice you make. Addictive, fun, and easy!
  • Compare your pronunciation. Compare yourself with native speakers using the record facility. Microphone required.
  • Test your knowledge. Easy and hard quizzes, plus a challenging memory game.
  • Monitor your progress. Keep a check on your total score and print your own awards.
  • On-screen help. Help available at all times in over 75 languages.
  • Print a picture dictionary. Print your own dictionary for a handy reference.
Learn to speak using your own native language!
Most language software sold in the U.S. requires you to first be proficient in English before you can learn another language. Not with EuroTalk software! All on-screen help and menus, words and phrases, quizzes and tests--even the printable dictionary can be changed to the language of your choice!

Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Mandarin, Malay, Manx, Norwegian, Papiamento, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Tibetan, Turkish, Vietnamese, Welsh, Zulu, or any of over 80 different languages!


Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B0000899QE
  • Item model number: AMT5056
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: January 15, 2003
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,832 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Malayalam is not a language for which you can have a huge choice of learning tools. If you are a relative "gringo" with little experience in Indian languages, this may be a good program to get you started with the basics of talking.
Lucky for English speakers - Malayalam is influenced the most by English after Sanskrit and Tamil. Unlucky for English speakers - there's a whole pile of linguistically different sounds involved in the other two parts of the language before English is ever even thought about. Get out your marbles and listen up - if you've got an open mind and a little bit of assistance, you might just end up knowing some Malayalam.
The format is wonderful, with sections for basics, food, time, body parts, phrases and more. Each level allows you to go through and hear of all the pertinent vocabulary (this can set to play in a continous loop - a nice way of learning and practicing away from the constraints of the computer). There are games for each section in two different levels of difficulty, and keys that allow you to build memory clues. With each game you accumulate points, and the points are tallied towards a final goal at which you recieve special recognition. You recieve nice encouragement for all correct answers - if you learn anything at all from this, if will definitely be the words for "Yes" and "No"!
The overall theme is suprisingly entertaining, without being condescending or childlike. It's very nicely designed, compared to many other language CD-Roms, and doesn't give you the idea that it's the same general template used for 35 different languages (except in one aspect, see below!) This was definitely designed with adult learners in mind, and for what - $19.99?
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First, I must acknowledge that I'm grateful that EuroTalk has produced this title, and I hope they do more. As the reviewer above stated, there aren't a lot of materials available for learning Malayalam. I also agree with the previous reviewer that the format of this program is clear, and navigation is straightforward.
I do have some criticisms, however. First, the program always freezes on my computer after ten minutes or so. I have the latest version of Mac OS X (10.5.6), two gigs of ram, and almost 9 gigs of free disk space. When the program freezes, I force quit and start over. When I run this program, I first quit every other application I have, including Time Machine.
Second, I would emphasize the above reviewer's point that the content of this program is written in the Malayalam alphabet, and it does not teach you the alphabet. This isn't a problem for me, but since the program is for beginners, I would have thought they would teach the alphabet, particularly since Malayalam has multiple n sounds, multiple d sounds, t sounds, etc. A visual of the position of the mouth and tongue would also help in teaching the sounds.
Third, the program will sometimes display one word, but pronounce a different word. For example, in the First Words section, the first entry is for 'yes.' What you hear is 'ate,' Malayalam for 'yes,' but what is written is 'undu,' a different word. There are also occasional typographical errors (the character 'pa' for 'va,' for example) which show this program was not closely proofed.
Finally, Malayalam will frequently combine two consonants into a new character called a ligature. This program does not display these ligatures, but instead shows the constituent consonants, along with the chandrakkala.
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There are very few resources available for learning Malayalam. That said, this CD-ROM does not fill this gap very well, particularly if you're an English speaker. I was hoping the CD-ROM would at least spell words phonetically using the English alphabet. Even the 30-year-old book "Learn Malayalam in 30 Days", the only other source I've found for learning Malayalam, at least offers phonetic spellings in English for those of us unfamiliar with Malayalam's alphabet. The lack of English phonetic spellings is particularly problematic because the CD-ROM does not teach the Malayalam alphabet anyway! All you get is a quick sound-byte of the phrase being pronounced by a male and female, along with the word or phrase written in Malayalam on the screen. The phrases are spoken so quickly that it's difficult to differentiate sounds. Very frustrating!

If you're desperate to learn Malayalam and can't afford a trip to Kerala, this may be your best shot (provided you also have the aforementioned book as a companion), given that there's not much else available. That said, this English speaker still didn't find it to be very helpful.
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Malayalam learning material is scarce, but you should not settle for 'semiproducts' like this one.
First of all
1. lexical choice is not satisfactory, many times:
a) they used an obsolete word (like durabhashini instead of fon which is used nowadays),
or that obsolete word for a taxi, taxi is said: taksi.
b) they used a less frequent variant: jelam insted of vellam for water; Malayalam is the language
of two variants (Dravidian and Sanskritic loan) but when only one is given, the most frequent should be
shown...

2. The audio material is far for perfect too, many times, male and female voice don't mach at all, they
have different pronunciations. I know there are many variants in spoken Malayalam (regional as well as
informal vs formal, for example in informal Malayalam there is no aspiration), but at least they could
have been more consistent so a learner is not puzzled.

3. Many words are spelled in an unconventional way, and not according to the Malayalam orthography (either the traditional one or the new one).

1/5 stars
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